6 Proven Ideas to Grow Your Travel Audience + Revenue

by Liz Huff Second Street

Recurring Revenue

Start by turning your most successful travel campaigns into year-long initiatives. Locking in a single advertiser for 12 or more months leads to a bigger sponsorship investment and an easier sales process. We’ve put together a complete guide to recurring revenue here.

Vacation giveaways are always a win no matter the time of year. Sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts, the Hot Spots contest from WKLB-FM provides a vacation to a lucky winner each month. This annual campaign has brought in over $400,000 in sponsorship revenue in it’s four years running. Pick the best prize package for your market – this may be regional travel, road trip giveaways, or even staycations – the goal is to lock in one advertiser for a whole year.


Time after time, ballots drive big revenue numbers and grow email databases. And while you may already be running a citywide Best Of, you can run additional ballots all year round. A ballot focused entirely on travel is a surefire way to target prospective travelers and sell sponsorships to a variety of travel-industry businesses such as hotels, travel agents, attractions, or even luggage retailers.

People are passionate about their favorite travel destinations and activities. You can create a ballot highlighting popular tourist attractions and travel services both near and far. The Best Northwest Escapes ballot brought in over 34,000 votes and nearly 1,000 opt-ins. The ballot from KING-TV featured categories for destinations, family fun, gear, and more and was sponsored by the tourism bureau.

Lead Generation

It’s hard to grow your revenue if you’re bringing the same ideas back to the same advertisers time after time. Train your team to create the perfect campaign for every advertiser in your market. When you understand what matters to an advertiser, you can create an impactful campaign to drive measurable results and leads.

Great Falls Airport wanted to learn more about their current and potential customers. This ticket sweepstakes from KRTV-TV included lead-gen questions to identify popular destinations, collect data about their parking fees, and frequency of travel. Nearly 4,000 people entered the contest and the airport signed on for a second contest before the first was over.


Holidays are a perfect opportunity for travel-themed contests. You likely have many initiatives around holidays already on your calendar – let’s make this current initiatives more robust by including a promotion.

This Home for the Holidays sweepstakes struck all the right chords. The airline wanted a way to give back to their community, while also learning more about their audience. This sweepstakes awarded one active military member with a trip home for Christmas. Nearly 2,000 people entered the contest and the airline added almost 800 people to their email database. Plus, Northwest Florida Daily News secured

Database Growth

The more people in your owned and operated database will directly contribute to your company’s success. When compared with companies using both widgets and promotions, our data shows promotions drove 87% of the new opt-ins.

TravelAwaits is an online-only publication. They wanted to celebrate the relaunch of their website and grow their database. They partnered with Vrbo and ran a $1,500 travel getaway sweepstakes. Not only did they grow their audience by 500 people, but they included questions to learn more about their readers’ interests. See their full case study here.


Once you have people in your audience, creating emails with meaningful, relevant content will have your readers excited to receive your messages and encouraged to forward to others. What unique content do you have to offer your travel audience that they won’t get from others?

Vail Daily sends out a weekly newsletter about all the popular outdoor attractions in the area. From which slopes have the best snow, where to catch the fall colors, or the best places to grab dinner with your family, this newsletter is a must-read for visitors of this popular outdoor destination.

Now’s the time to enhance your strategy for targeting the travel enthusiasts in your market. Securing annual revenue from advertisers will bring in recurring revenue all year long and give you time to focus on growing your travel audience month after month.

Get your copy of the 359 Ideas to Engage Your Audience Playbook.